Soon we live again exuberant and relieved; But now we do a strange Lindy Hop In a marathon not of our making, We drag our weary bodies and souls behind us Waiting for the Big Band to play the last note, Releasing us from our dis-ease. We yearn to dance again with abandon; But in the time between we endure, Faithful to this dance here and now. Learning the steps as we go Leaning against one another, Cheering on, crying with. Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow. Dance today’s dance Today. c. Rita H Kowats 3/20/2021
A bit of context. You can have this day’s dance. I don’t want it. I imagine there are some dances you don’t want either. This one is called pneumonia. The fact that precautions weren’t enough in this precarious time is what sticks in my craw. I feel more vulnerable. So I searched my posts for a spiritual practice that sustained me in another time. I’m getting ready for the Lindy Hop.
I often use the Insight Timer free meditation app on Google play. My favorite music is “Delta Waves and Oceanic Sounds.” I like it because I can sync my breathing with the ebb and flow of the waves and because it is unobtrusive.
Inhaling, I breathe in healing energy.
Exhaling I send it to every place in my body that needs healing (to my mind as well, in an effort to dispel fear and anxiety).
Inhaling I gather up all sick energy from my body.
Exhaling I send it down to the earth where it can be renewed.
Soon we live again exuberant and relieved;Ssdo a strange Lindy Hop In a marathon not of our making, We drag our weary Sssssbodies and souls behind us Waiting for the Big Band to play the last note, Releasing us from our dis-ease. We yearn to dance again with abandon; But in the time between we endure, Faithful to this dance here and now. Learning the steps as we go Leaning against one another, Cheering on, crying with. Tomorrow’s dance is for tomorrow. Dance today. c. Rita H Kowats 3/20/2021
Two crows canoodling On a fence Sound the mindfulness bell, Calling me back to presence. I snuggle into sister soul Canoodling with the divine, While warmed by gracious grace. c. Rita Hemmer Kowats August 29, 2021
After the onslaught of wolves and worries hurled at me on the news channel. After dealing with a sick cat and a sick me. I cuddled around my re-membered blankie and settled in for a reassuring lullaby. “Silver Birch” restored me, as I hope it does you as well.
“Silver Birch a lullaby” …Round and round the dangers prowl -wolves and monsters, worries, witches- but the birches stand like churches as the dark around them surges, Circles, crouches, clutches, lunges- but breaks its power on birches’ branches, Held at bay until at last the sun emerges, warms the pines, the larches, lights your yawns, your stretches, there among the silver birches. from the lost spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris https://www.thelostwords.org/lostspellsbook/
In William Faulkner’s Light in August, Reverend Hightower marvels at “how that fading copper light would seem almost audible, like a dying yellow fall of trumpets dying into an interval of silence and waiting”*
In the embers of an August day I stroll through rows of magnificent dahlias, waning sun casting muted light on a kaleidoscope of unexpected patterns of crimson, yellow, orange and pink. In the last hurrah of summer this rich contrast of muted light on dazzling dahlias is an unexpected harbinger of hibernation, A time of soulseeing by fresh angles of light, waiting for outside sun to rise and warm again. Summer still. Yet I stroll through this “interval of silence and waiting”* expecting the gift of harvest and the calm of the cave. c. Rita H Kowats 8/9/2021
It becomes increasingly more lonely to live a life of presence in today’s world. We try to listen deeply and the other drinks in the empathy we channel. Then when we need deep listening, it is often not to be found. We are greeted with a barrage of self-absorbed words tripping over more words. We survive by leaning into the constant presence of the divine that informs and sustains us.
We desire to listen as an unconditional gift, even making it an intentional spiritual practice; however, our humanity longs for reciprocation. May we live into a bountiful space where deep listening defines our humanity and each one is blessed with a generous listener.
Constant Spirit Sprung My young self shook with sheer terror in the Disclosure Confrontation Marathon where they likened me to a monkey swinging from bar to bar shrieking,”Look at me, look at me!” A constant stream of words “saying nothing worth hearing” until, the truth I sought so desperately welled up from Constant Spirit “I don’t love anyone because I don’t know how.” Redemption. Relief to know a starting point for growth. Disclosure Confrontation Marathon- No deep listening here. Trauma aside, it pushed me onto the path. How much better to have been led to it. c. Rita Hemmer Kowats 7/31/2021
photo Credit: Pexels.com
When I am giddy with the prospect of juicy gossip, John O’Donohue throws down this gauntlet to me:
May you not disrespect your mystery through brittle words or false belonging. -“For Absence” in To Bless The Space Between Us
Physicists tell us that our thoughts are energy and energy doesn’t die. Do I really want the negative energy of gossip to be my lingering legacy in the universe?
Blessing in the Chaos To all that is chaotic in you, let there come silence. Let there be a calming of the clamoring, a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you, that have made their home in you, that go with you even to the holy places but will not let you rest, will not let you hear your life with wholeness or feel the grace that fashioned you. Let what distracts you cease. Let what divides you cease. Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans, and let depart all that keeps you in its cage. Let there be an opening into the quiet that lies beneath the chaos, where you find the peace you did not think possible and see what shimmers within the storm. —Jan Richardson https://paintedprayerbook.com/2012/01/24/epiphany-4-blessing-in-the-chaos/
He was pinned to himself to die, a royal tern with a black crest blown back as if he flew in his own private wind…. We borrowed a clippers, cut and drew out the hook. Then the royal tern took off, wavering, lurched twice, then acrobat returned to his element, dipped, zoomed, and sailed out to dive for a fish. Virtue: what a sunrise in the belly. Marge Piercy “Gracious Goodness”
I hadn’t been to the little dock at Echo Lake in two weeks and I eagerly anticipated seeing the ducks and Great Blue Heron, my long time friend. Perhaps a few cormorants as well. Imagine my disappointment upon arrival, seeing that the reeds and spindly cottonwoods had taken over my view of the lake. For a few futile minutes I yelled inwardly at the park department for not maintaining this little spot that gives such great joy to so many of us.
Then my ear caught that familiar flapping of tiny hummingbird wings and I watched one after another drink from the blooms of a tree that blocked my view of the lake. One bright red dragon fly hovered at an apparently fecund tree stump, while a two inch zebra-stripped one landed on the railing beside me. Another smaller dragonfly, the color of my blue shirt, landed on my arm seeking a like-minded creature, perhaps. My favorite red-winged blackbirds were sadly silent, avoiding the midday sun rather than serenading me with the song I love so much.
“Virtue: What a sunrise in the belly.” See divinity where it is, not where we want it to be.
Letting Go Of Trauma A Prayer Fly we must Over the canyons of our despair Spare Spare Spare us from echoes Of shame and blame That twist in and out Of our honeycomb hearts. Fly we must- Surviving until we thrive. Surviving until we let you pluck us From the safety of flight And set us down on The holy ground of your love. Root us in you, Holy One. Mute the voices of shame and blame. May it be so.